Letter to the Editor

First Posted: 1/7/2009

To the Editor:

The packages are all opened; the hustle and bustle of the holiday season is behind us now is the time to relax and prepare for a new year. That is the ideal holiday picture for most of us as we step into the New Year. However, for one out of every five, this is very far from their life because they struggle with a behavioral health condition. The high spirits of the holidays often make the symptoms of their conditions more difficult.
The real tragedy is that so many will try to hide their condition. They will refuse to seek the professional help that is needed. Some will start the New Year by saying, Oh it is just the post holiday blues I will get over it. or I know I can stop drinking now that the holidays are past. or It was just the stress of the holidays that made me lose my temper so much; I can usually keep it under control. These statements may be true for four out of five of us; however for the one who is persistently sad for months on end, or the one who feels they must use alcohol or drugs just to function, or the one who consistently responds in a way that is not appropriate to the situation, this is the one in five who needs to seek professional help.
Unfortunately many will not. Why? If the problem was diabetes or heart disease, there would be little hesitation to seek professional care. What is so different about depression, addictive disorders, or anger management? In a simple word stigma they are concerned what others may think. They opt to continue their struggle alone, failing to recognize that they are battling an illness and that with professional help they can achieve a full and productive life they can be well.
For those who want to reach out for professional help or for their loved ones seeking guidance, Crossroads Behavioral Healthcare can help you. Our 24-hour a day toll-free line 1-888-235-HOPE (4673) provides information and assistance to those in Iredell, Surry and Yadkin counties seeking professional help and guidance. A free and confidential call is all that it takes for that first step on the road to wellness.
In additional, Crossroads advocates for our consumers through support of Mental Health American and National Alliance on Mental Illness local affiliates; fostering a strong system of care through Communities Caring For Families to help meet the needs of our children by connecting resources within each community; providing Wellness Action Recovery Plan training; and working with local law enforcement to train officers in Crisis Intervention. Crossroads connections are too numerous to detail in this brief message.
I urge you, if you or a loved one has been struggling with a behavioral health care problem, start 2009 on the right path. Mental illness and addictive disorders can take a devastating toll on lives if left unaddressed. Crossroads is here to help you. Call 1-888-235-HOPE or visit our Web site at www.crossroadsbhc.org.

David Swann, MA, LCAS, CCS, LPC, NCC Area Director & CEO
Crossroads Behavioral Healthcare

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